City Hires New Chief

City of Alameda Nicholas “Nick” Luby will take over for Rick Zombeck as Chief of the Alameda Fire Department Fire effective Oct. 18. Luby was most recently Deputy Chief of Operations with the Oakland Fire Department.

City Hires New Chief

The city of Alameda has hired Nicholas “Nick” Luby as the new Chief of the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) effective Oct. 18. Alameda City Manager Eric Levitt announced the hiring on Sept. 15.

“I’m excited that incoming Chief Luby will be joining the City of Alameda as our Fire Chief. He has extensive experience in fire service and is a trusted leader. I believe he’ll bring strong leadership skills to the Alameda Fire Department,” stated Levitt.

Luby has 23 years of fire service experience, most recently as the Deputy Chief of Operations with the Oakland Fire Department (OFD). He has worked for OFD for 21 years. Luby has also served as an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, trained boat operator and Swiftwater Rescue Technician.

“I am very excited to join the Alameda team and utilize my 23 years of experience to support and advance the Alameda Fire Department and the greater Alameda community,” said Luby. “As Fire Chief, I’ll work to ensure that we are unwavering in our responsibility to professionally serve our community 24/7/365.”

Luby has also served on several task forces and organizations. He was an active participant in the City of Oakland’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, is the former president of the Alameda County Fire Chiefs Association — Operations Section and has served as the Northern California Representative for CalChiefs’ Operations Section.

The city posted a job listing to attract applicants for the open position. The job listing stated the city’s ideal candidate for fire chief is someone “known for their empowering leadership style along with a high level of professionalism” among other qualifications. Luby’s compensation is not known, but according to the listing, the salary range for the Fire Chief is $222,002 to $269,846 annually based on a 40-hour work week. The city stopped receiving new applications on May 3.

Luby will take over the reigns from interim Fire Chief Rick Zombeck who is retiring. Zombeck joined AFD as a firefighter in 1983. Prior to becoming a chief, Zombeck was active in the community as well as the Alameda Firefighters Association, serving a term as its treasurer.

Zombeck was appointed interim Fire Chief after previous Fire Chief Ed Rodriguez went on medical leave in March 2020. Zombeck was named the acting Fire Chief when Rodriguez went on leave, but when Rodriguez announced his retirement in December 2020, Zombeck’s title changed to interim Fire Chief.

This is the second time this year city officials have turned to a longtime Oakland public service employee to fill a high-ranking role. The city hired former Oakland Police Department (OPD) Deputy Chief Nishant Joshi as the Alameda Police Department Police Chief on May 17. Joshi had worked for OPD since 2000. He started his new role as APD Police Chief on June 8.